18460

SOC 101

 Introduction to Sociology

Valeria Bonatti

M  W  11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 102

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies  Related interest: Environmental & Urban Studies     Sociology is the systematic study of social life, social groups, and social relations. The discipline views the individual in context of the larger society, and sheds light on how social structures constrain and enable our choices and actions. Sociologists study topics as varied as race, gender, class, religion, the birth of capitalism, democracy, education, crime and prisons, the environment, and inequality. At its most basic, the course will teach students how to read social science texts and evaluate their arguments. Conceptually, students will learn basic sociological themes and become familiar with how sociologists ask and answer questions. Most importantly, students will come away from the course with a new understanding of how to think sociologically about the world around them, their position in society, and how their actions both affect and are affected by the social structures in which we all live. Class size: 22

 

18461

SOC 140

 Israeli Society at the Crossroads

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th 3:10 pm-4:30 pm

ALBEE 106

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies; Jewish Studies; Middle Eastern Studies  Modern Israel is a diverse society characterized by profound tensions between contending political ideologies, ethnic groups, economic interests, and religious beliefs that are seldom discussed in the American media. This course provides students with both the knowledge and the analytical tools needed to understand these new and emerging trends. The course begins with a short review of the social makeup of contemporary Israel. It then explores key aspects of Israeli culture and social structure and continues with an examination of the central forces of social convergence and divergence that are shaping public discourse. Selected topics include: The "New Jew" and Israeli identity, socialism and capitalism, religiosity and secularism, militarism and democracy, immigration and integration, "melting pot" and pluralism, national identity and minority rights, inequality and the "start-up nation", gender roles and family patterns. These topics will be explored through a critical analysis of academic literature, news reports, and short stories by Israeli writers. Class size: 22

 

18459

SOC 142

 Global Challenges of the 21st Century

Valeria Bonatti

M  W  10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 306

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: Global & International Studies  Since the 1970s, globalization has been both celebrated as a broad, sweeping solution to world-wide inequalities and criticized as the key cause for the decay of national values, of growing economic instability and of the dispersal of local cultures. This course provides a foundational understanding of how global issues appear, change and are contested, over time and in different parts of the world. We will explore several key global challenges of our time, including poverty, multiculturalism, sustainability, public health and governance through the lenses of sociological theories and methodologies. We will learn about how different actors, including governments, international organizations, religious institutions, community organizations and even individuals in different parts of the world are involved with key global issues, passively and deliberately. Second, we will become familiar with some of the key databases storing and distributing knowledge about important global problems. We will explore how to find, discuss and compare information pertaining to different countries and different aspects of key global problems. In the final part of the course we will emphasize the connections between seemingly independent global problems and the kinds of international efforts in place to address them.

Class size: 18

 

18462

SOC 205

 Intro to Research Methods

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th 11:50 am-1:10 pm

HDR 101A

MC

MATC

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights  The aim of this course is to enable students to understand and use the various research methods developed in the social sciences, with an emphasis on quantitative methods. The course will be concerned with the theory and rationale upon which social research is based, as well as the practical aspects of research and the problems the researcher is likely to encounter. The course is divided into two parts. In the first, we will learn how to formulate research questions and hypotheses, how to choose the appropriate research method for the problem, and how to maximize chances for valid and reliable findings. In the second part, we will learn how to perform simple data analysis and how to interpret and present findings in a written report. For a final paper, students use data from the U.S. General Social Survey (GSS) to study public attitudes toward issues such as abortion, immigration, inequality and welfare, affirmative action, gender roles, religion, the media, and gun laws.  By the end of the semester, students will have the necessary skills for designing and conducting independent research for term papers and senior projects, as well as for non-academic enterprises.  Admission by permission of the instructor.  Class size: 15

 

18463

SOC 213

 Sociological Theory

Laura Ford

 T  Th 4:40 pm-6:00 pm

HEG 308

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Human Rights  This class introduces students to classical and contemporary sociological theories. It considers foundational theories that emerged from the social upheavals of modernization in the 19th Century, including those of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, and DuBois. The course thus introduces many enduring themes of sociology: alienation and anomie; social structure and disorganization; group conflict and solidarity; secularization and individualism; bureaucracy and institutions, the division of labor, capitalism, and the nature of authority. We then follow these conversations into the contemporary era, examining traditions such as functionalism, conflict theory, rational choice, symbolic interactionism, feminist theory, and critical theory, including thinkers such as G.H. Mead, Robert Merton, Pierre Bourdieu, Jürgen Habermas, and Michel Foucault. Students will learn the key concepts of major theoretical approaches in sociology, and will consider questions such as the relationship between theory and research, and the relationship of social conditions to the production of knowledge. Class size: 22

 

18464

SOC 224

 Punishment, Prisons and Policing

Allison McKim

M  W  11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 203

SA

D+J

SSCI

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies; Human Rights  This course introduces students to the sociology of punishment and crime control. The amount and type of punishment found in society is not a simple, direct result of crime patterns. Rather, to understand how and why we punish, we must examine the ways that historical processes, social structures, institutions, and culture shape penal practices as well as how systems of punishment shape society. This course draws on sociological and historical research to explore the social functions of punishment, its cultural foundations and meanings, what drives changes in how we punish, the relationship between penal practices and state power, and the role of crime control in reproducing race, gender, and class inequality. The class also delves deeply into the theoretical and empirical debates about the punitive turn in American criminal justice over the last 4 decades. We consider the causes and consequences of mass incarceration, the racial disparities in the system, the drug war, changes in policing, the politicization of crime, and the role of criminal justice in the welfare state.  Class size: 22

 

18465

SOC 246

 a changing american racial order? Race, Ethnicity & Assimilation

Joel Perlmann

 T  Th 4:40 pm-6:00 pm

OLIN 309

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Human Rights The changes in the racial order during the past half century have been staggering.  What will they be like in the next half century?   As to the recent past, consider: first black gains since the Civil Rights era (political, economic, social   however incomplete);  second, Hispanics and Asians transforming what it means to be non-white; and third, the virtual disappearance of earlier rigid divisions among Euro-American ethnics such as Irish, Italians, Jews and Slavs.    We will explore the meaning of contemporary race, ethnicity and assimilation with these recent American patterns in mind.    We will also spend a substantial part of the course on the growing efforts by thoughtful Americans, mostly social scientists, to think about the directions that these patterns of group life may take in the coming few decades.    Topics include: social mobility and economic wellbeing, interracial marriage, political power, discrimination, the impact of immigration, group identity and culture, the expected racial transformation to a non-white American majority.  Class size: 22

 

18466

SOC 320

 Environment and Society from a Global Perspective

Valeria Bonatti

    F     11:00 am-1:20 pm

OLIN 201

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies  In recent years, concerns for the rapid depletion of natural resources and the devastation caused by repeated human-made, natural disasters are challenging human societies with identifying long-term strategies and solutions to ensure the survival of various communities. In this course, we will consider present-day environmental challenges and conflicts, as well as the struggle for environmental justice, from multiple sociological perspectives. The first goal of this course is to provide a thorough overview of key environmental problems, including climate change and rising sea levels, as well as pollution and waste accumulation. We will consider how such issues are presented and debated, in the media and in scientific studies. Second, we will contextualize environmental problems in relation to various inequalities: between different countries and world regions, and with respect to race, nationality, citizenship, gender and class. Here, we will pay close attention to theoretical approaches viewing the logics of capitalism and of colonial oppression as key causes of ecological problems. Finally, we will analyze how the logics of capitalism and of social inequalities intertwine with, and are challenged by various environmentalist efforts, including scientific studies and policies as well as social movements. Class size: 15

 

18467

SOC 332

 Seminar on Social Problems

Yuval Elmelech

  W      1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 308

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Human Rights  We often read alarming stories about segregated and failing schools, the increasing concentration of wealth, the weakening of the American family, and numerous other problems in contemporary American society. While these accounts provide a sensational and superficial treatment of various social problems, what do researchers really know about the causes of and solutions for these problems? This course provides a critical survey and analysis of the varied social and structural factors that facilitate and help perpetuate social problems in the U.S. Topics include: schools and education; wealth and poverty; racial and ethnic inequality; teenage childbearing; residential segregation; immigration and mobility; gender inequality; work and socioeconomic attainment. The course will also provide framework for developing the skill of academic writing, and the appropriate use of theories, research questions and hypotheses. In particular, this seminar will serve social science majors and other advanced students who are developing their research and writing skills for term papers and senior projects.   Fulfills American Studies Junior Seminar requirement.

Class size: 15

 

18468

SOC 333

 tricks of the trade: Qualitative Research Practicum

Allison McKim

 T        1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 302

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights  To study social life, researchers often turn to methods of inquiry based on observing everyday life, talking to people, and unpacking the meanings of public discourse such as ads and news coverage. This course gives students instruction in how to conduct this kind of qualitative research. It focuses on ethnography (participant observation), in-depth interviewing, and discursive/content analysis. The course is ideal for students from various majors who plan to use these methods for their senior project or those interested in pursuing social research in the future. It offers both conceptual grounding and practical training. This means the class engages epistemological questions about how we create knowledge and  the nitty-gritty aspects of how to design and carry out a study. We will address debates about reflexivity, objectivity, power, and perspective in research. We will also learn various approaches to designing studies and drawing conclusions from qualitative data. The course offers training in research ethics and human subjects (IRB) review. In the class, students will develop and conduct a qualitative research project and learn practical techniques for taking field notes, conducting interviews, picking case studies, and interpreting and analyzing qualitative data. (Note: this course does not fulfill the sociology program 300-level seminar requirement. It does count as an elective.  "Related interest" American studies).  Class size: 12

 

 

Cross-listed courses:

 

18401

HIST 213

 Immigration:American Politics

Joel Perlmann

 T  Th 11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 308

HA

D+J

HIST

DIFF

Cross-listed: Africana Studies; American Studies; Human Rights; Sociology

 

18111

PSY 220

 Social Psychology

Thomas Cain

M  W  11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 202

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Sociology